Trump and the 'women's card'
Donald Trump has warned Hillary Clinton not to play the "women's card," or else he will talk about her role in Bill Clinton's attacks on women, including rape. But if that happens, can we expect Hillary to raise the subject of Donald Trump's alleged rape of his then-wife, Ivana, after Donald was on the receiving end of botched baldness reduction surgery? [Warning: graphic language at the link – ed.]
Ivana Trump's assertion of "rape" came in a deposition – part of the early '90s divorce case between the Trumps, and revealed in the 1993 book Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump.
The book, by former Texas Monthly and Newsweek reporter Harry Hurt III, described a harrowing scene. After a painful scalp reduction surgery to remove a bald spot, Donald Trump confronted his then-wife, who had previously used the same plastic surgeon.
"Your [f******] doctor has ruined me!" Trump cried.
What followed was a "violent assault," according to Lost Tycoon.
What was the response of the Trump team to these charges?
Michael Cohen, special counsel at The Trump Organization, defended his boss, saying, "You're talking about the frontrunner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as a private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can't rape your spouse."
"It is true," Cohen added. "You cannot rape your spouse. And there's very clear case law."
"It's not the word that you're trying to make it into," Cohen told The Daily Beast, saying Ivana Trump was talking about how "she felt raped emotionally… She was not referring to it [as] a criminal matter, and not in its literal sense, though there's many literal senses to the word."
This kind of evasive response is something you'd expect from the Clintons. Nowhere does Cohen say that Trump never forced himself on his wife.
Under pressure from Trump's lawyers, Ivana produced this curious response.
"During a deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me," the Ivana Trump statement said. "[O]n one occasion during 1989, Mr. Trump and I had marital relations in which he behaved very differently toward me than he had during our marriage. As a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited towards me, was absent. I referred to this as a 'rape,' but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense."
Even this response seems to indicate that Mr. Trump forced himself on his wife. We can't know for sure what happened. We weren't there. We don't know if Mr. Trump actually forced himself on his wife, or even whether he had baldness reduction surgery. But the charges are out there, and the Clinton camp seems to be waiting for Trump to be nominated before using them.
Given that, is Donald Trump the best candidate to take on Mrs. Clinton, given how he was accused of "non-criminal" rape? It's a little like nominating Mitt Romney to take on Barack Obama; Romney was ineffectual in attacking Obama because Romney also supported nationalized health care. I worry the same thing will happen with Trump, where his own "rape" charge will haunt him when battling Mrs. Clinton.
This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.